Rethinking emotion : new research in emotion and recent debates in cognitive science
Cognitive science is currently the scene of a number of exciting debates. The so-called 'classical' approach, which has dominated the field since the 1950s, is increasingly being challenged on various fronts. Evolutionary psychologists and researchers in artificial life accuse classical cognitive scientists of ignoring the fact that natural cognition is not designed to solve abstract problems and prove theorems but to solve particular adaptive problems. Those working with a 'situated' view of the mind are challenging the classical commitment to internalism. Finally, proponents of dynamical approaches claim that the discrete models favoured by the classical approach are too coarse-grained and impute too much internal structure to the mind. In this thesis I argue that the 'non-classical' approaches are compatible with classical cognitive science, with the important proviso that compatibility comes in different kinds. In the final chapter I outline a vision of a comprehensive 'integrated non-classical cognitive science' that combines the three non-classical approaches into a single conceptual bundle. I illustrate these claims about cognitive science in general with reference to a particular field of research: the emotions. Emotions were ignored by most classical cognitive scientists, though some models of emotion were developed within the classical framework. These models, however, provided no way of distinguishing emotion from cognition. I argue that the non-classical approaches remedy this problem, and together provide a new way of thinking about the emotions which I dub 'the interruption theory'. Since the interruption theory borrows insights from all three of the non-classical forms of cognitive science, it serves as a good example of the integrated non-classical approach that I recommend for cognitive science in general.